All of the blankets came out this week. We’ve had some nights where a few horses had blankets on, but this week brought us the first farm-wide blanketing event of the season. I hate handling dirty horse blankets. The only time I don’t at all mind putting on blankets is the first round of the season. The blankets are all so clean and pleasant to handle, so this week I didn’t mind putting them on. They are all coming off again tomorrow, and I dread that. The horses have wasted no time finding any available area of mud to wallow in, so many of the blankets already have a nice dirt crust on them.Thus, I find blanketing time to be a mixture of the most wonderful and most awful time of the year. I like seeing the horses in their blankets. I don’t like wrestling dirty blankets onto frisky horses, and especially don’t like the brown mucous that I blow out of my nose after a round of handling of dirty horse blankets.

I have Jason to balance out me being exceptionally cold natured with him being Canadian natured. He makes sure we do not blanket the horses according to how I feel, otherwise they would all be sweltering under blankets much of the time. Jason’s cold tolerance is one of the things about him that screams, “I am from Canada.” We are having unseasonably cold weather for this time of the year and I have had to go straight to my “big guns” for winter wear. I start with smartwool socks and double long underwear under my jeans. Then a triple layer on top; a base layer, a long sleeved shirt and a sweater. This is all topped off with a heavy coat, gloves, a hat and insulated boots. The only thing I haven’t brought out yet are my toe and hand warmers. On the other hand, Jason finally broke down and put on a sweater this week while he walked around saying, “isn’t this nice?” I would have punched him but he knows I can’t move very quickly in all of my layers. I’m pretty sure he is the only person in middle Tennessee making such stupid comments about the weather.

This week we are back in the land of ripped or dangling blanket straps, muddy blankets, and my favorite: the horse with no blanket. Tuesday morning when I was feeding the Big Boys everything was looking normal as I scanned the pasture. Then my eyes came to rest on a solid bay horse. Not a bay horse with a blue, grey, black, green or any other colored blanket. Just a horse with no blanket. It was Revy. I ungraciously screamed out, “where the bleep is your blanket Revy?” He just blinked at me. I located his blanket a few minutes later, laying out in the field with all of the straps still done up. Once or twice a year we have a horse that manages to undress himself with no damage at all to their blanket, yet with every strap and surcingle still done up. It isn’t usually the same horse. Revy is the current title holder.

Welcome to the most wonderful and awful time of the year.

One of the rituals of blanketing, especially early in the season, is the horses playing the, “do I know you?” game. We had just put Renny’s blanket on and Art immediately has to walk over and investigate and make sure this is a horse he has met before.

So many grumpy faces on the newly blanketed horses; Asterik, Romeo and Gus looking less than thrilled that someone had lovingly blanketed them

Charlotte (penny in the background)

Hemi

Levendi

Convey, Homer, Revy and Chance

Maggie and Jake

Renny

Quigly, Nemo, Paramount and Sebastian

Chance

Cinnamon

Maisie, Traveller and Dawn

Lily

Mick, Sam and Miel

Remmy and Duesy

Remmy, Havana and Merlin with Cino in the background

George

Asterik

Magic

Toledo

Squirrel and Rocky

Walon and Squirrel playing

Trigger and Thomas playing; note the dangling belly strap (yes I fixed it). I do love blanketing season

Thomas and Homer

Cinnamon and Cuffie